This holiday season, Best Buy is embracing their reputation as America’s Amazon showroom in their marketing. It’s not clear yet how well this strategy is working, but another retailer has an ad campaign based on the same concept: embracing and turning around what consumers make fun of them for. This commercial for Sears that’s currently on the air takes a perceived weakness (Sears has vast, empty parking lots) and turns it into a selling point. Kind of.
Best Buy’s plan is to embrace the “showroom” concept, then capture sales from customers who originally planned to make their actual purchase online through price-matching and great customer service.
In the Sears spot, two young women on their way to a mall to see a movie park at Sears, because “there’s always parking at Sears!” Ha ha! Their stores are abandoned!
The moviegoers then discover that Sears still sells things, which may be a revelation for Americans in their twenties. They even sell clothing! Cute clothing! The women grab items off the racks, miss their movie, and then commit themselves to a never-ending torrent of Shop Your Way Rewards e-mails.
We couldn’t quite believe that this ad was real at first, and had to check with Sears to make sure it wasn’t an elaborate hoax. Even the Sears Twitter account is playing along and pretending that this is a compliment.
We like the ad, though. Like Best Buy’s embrace of “showrooming,” it shows that someone at Sears cares about what customers actually say. The challenge will be actually retaining those customers once they walk in the doors on their way to the movie theater.